The science behind the craft of copywriting

Psychology, behavioural science, journalism and data analysis are just some of the modern techniques used to create effective copy.

It’s powerful stuff. And the simple fact is that well-written words will only take you some of the way; copy that’s infused with customer insight is where the conversions are. It will boost engagement, create brand loyalty and motivate people to spend their money with you.

Getting your copy right can create connections on a subconscious level and foster specific emotions that enhance the customer’s view of your brand. How they feel about your products. How likely they are to engage and interact with your brand.

As specialists in using language to create effective design, we have a few insights to share on the science behind the art of copywriting.

Audience personas

There’s always a temptation to broadcast general messaging to your whole audience. After all, if you find it engaging, why wouldn’t everyone else?

Unfortunately, your customers don’t all have your interests, motivations and needs. Understanding your audience is the first step to building long lasting and fruitful relationships with them. Investing the time to truly know and define your audience through research, psychological profiling and data analysis allows you to create tailored yet authentic copy.

Addressing each persona’s behavioural drivers, obstacles to purchase and general mindset will create copy that truly engages and converts. Pulling this all together within a single brand voice is where quality copywriting really makes the difference.

By truly understanding and defining the different personas that make up your diverse audience, you’ll be able to craft copy that resonates with each segment. By using this approach, we’ve proved that this leads to higher engagement and higher conversion rates.

Brand voice

When brands talk about identity, minds tend to go straight to visual iconography – logos, fonts, image style etc. – but we know it goes beyond that.

Building a personality with a consistent tone of voice breathes life into your brand. It generates familiarity and trust. An effective brand voice will be instantly recognisable on any given channel. Adopting a tone that resonates with the right audience will differentiate your brand and cut through the competitive and noisy digital environment.

Check out brands such as Innocent Drinks, Foxtons, Mailchimp and Slack to see how it’s done.

Psychology of headlines and subheads

Did you know that only 20% of people who arrive on an article read past the main headline? Thank you for being one of the 20%! Now we bet you scanned some of the subheads first before reading the details…

As much as it breaks copywriters’ hearts, readers will rarely start articles from the beginning, they scan for key information. Then if they see the value in it, they will go back and read in detail. Using proven techniques to present the most important information will allow brands to convey key messages without requiring an in-depth view of a page or article.

The SIM7 mantra is: even if your audience ‘reads’ nothing on this page, they should still be able to recall the most important points.

Compelling Hero Messages

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what if that’s too many?

Your value proposition, communicated clearly and succinctly, should be among the first things that prospects see when they interact with your business. But that’s not always as easy as it sounds. Often, knowing the minutiae of all the services that you can provide proves to be a blocker to articulating it concisely. And if you can’t communicate this to your customers, how can you expect the rest of your team to?

Creating key statements that are repeatedly reinforced, subtly or overtly, throughout your communications channels has proven to make a real difference to a marketing campaign’s success. They’re called Hero Messages. Make a noticeable difference to your customer journey by creating and using emotive statements that capture your world – over and over and over.

Consistency of tone

It’s good practice to tailor your messaging for each channel or platform that you are marketing on. Just make sure that your tone of voice remains consistent in the process.

We’ve touched on the importance of a brand voice that resonates with your audience. Otherwise known as tone of voice, it needs to feel instantly recognisable and familiar to create that immediate connection and engagement. The only way that this familiarity will develop is by being consistent with your tone, across every single piece of marketing material you own. From press ad to social ad, from brochure to feedback form.

When your brand voice creates a personality and your audience connects with familiarity, your audience is more likely to become customers.

Structure

While conveying personality is important, if your messaging is not quickly delivering information or value then you’ve lost your audience.

Bearing this in mind will help structure your copy and content to share the right proposition at the right time to create intrigue, interest and most importantly, intent to purchase. Using engaging devices, such as short paragraphs, pull-outs, panels and pull-quotes, delivers key messages quickly and efficiently.

Balancing brand voice with effective design engages audiences with the right message at the right time to create a smooth and seamless customer journey. At SIM7, our background in business journalism has taught us the most effective methods of positioning and structuring content for the page and online.

Calls to Action

Telling a reader to take an action after seeing your content is one thing. Motivating or successfully incentivising them to actually do it is quite another.

CTAs kick off every conversion, meaning that it’s imperative to get them right. This doesn’t just include language and button design. Frequency, timing and customer behavioural patterns should all be considered when crafting an effective call to action. Successful CTAs don’t just operate in isolation either. They touch upon, and require the support of, all the other elements already mentioned in this article.

Having to take all this into consideration makes it a time-consuming process to get right. For us, the real game-changer was our research into the psychology of customer behaviour. This extra insight has opened up new possibilities and lead to our proven track record of helping clients achieve greater conversions, sign ups and, ultimately, sales.

How could well-crafted copy impact your business?

We don’t mention the ‘T’ word lightly. Transforming your brand copy also will have a transformative effect on your business. It’s truly powerful stuff, and it’s time to harness that power to attract new customers, create more meaningful relationships and build a stronger business. And that’s where we come in.

SIM7 is a creative agency that specialises in using language to create effective design.

We’re the ally of the entrepreneur and the partner of the marketer.

Social or digital, branding or advertising, print or packaging; with us, there’s no house style, no ‘rinse and repeat’. The only common denominator is the quality of our copy. It’s how we’ll attract your audience and engage with them. And it’s how we’ll provide you with the commercial results you’re looking for.

Sound good? Drop Henry, our Director of Partnerships a line and let’s talk about transforming your marketing – henry@sim7creative.co.uk